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Gap between Celtic and Rangers definitely closing, says Neil Lennon

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Hibernian manager Neil Lennon thinks new Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has closed the gap between the two Scottish Premiership clubs

New Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has closed the gap on Scottish Premiership champions Celtic ahead of the first Old Firm meeting of the season on Sunday, according to Neil Lennon.

Gerrard only took over at Ibrox at the start of June, with the former Liverpool captain having so far made an unbeaten start to his managerial reign in Glasgow.

However, that impressive beginning to the new campaign will be put to the test on Sunday when Rangers take on Celtic at Parkhead.

Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard celebrates his side's aggregate win in the Europa League against Maribor
Image: Steven Gerrard has not lost so far as Rangers manager

"Steven has made significant strides already in the short space of time he has been there," the Hibernian manager told The Debate.

"They are unbeaten, they have a big game on Thursday night in Russia in which they can qualify for the group stages of the Europa League.

"Rangers were not very good, to say the very least, last season and Brendan (Rodgers) has done a remarkable job in terms of he won the Treble in his first year and went the whole season unbeaten and won another Treble last year.

"Celtic have gone out of the Champions League, but they still have quality right through the team."

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What has most impressed Lennon, though, is the team Gerrard has built since arriving in the east end of Glasgow earlier this summer.

"What Steven's done is built a really good spine of the team in Allan McGregor experience, Nikola Katic and Connor Goldson have come in at centre-half, Scott Arfield has come in, Ryan Jack has had a good start to the season," he said.

Celtic's Kieran Tierney and Rangers' James Tavernier have to compete with balloons on the surface
Image: Celtic and Rangers go head to head at Parkhead on Sunday

"And he has brought in Kyle Lafferty, who knows this fixture very, very well and who has started the season well, and Alfredo Morelos who is a goalscorer.

"So Celtic at home, you would have to say are strong favourites, but certainly the gap in terms of players, and quality of players on the pitch, is definitely closing."

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